Practical Giving -  P1

Most of us give to things that we have a personal connection with - a loved one, a religious institution, a school or a charity of personal interest.  In most instances, we do not go far outside the boundaries of these familiar connections in our giving practice.  However, there is a lot more out there and as we have stated in the past - giving expands horizons!

But it can be daunting to find new giving opportunities.  As important, how do you chart the waters of philanthropy when there are so many apparent pirates out there just waiting for the next donation to fund administration?  

Here are some helpful tips on how to grow outside of your usual giving circle and find new horizons in giving:

  1. Use the resources available.  The Internet certainly has its more disgusting aspects, but one place where it does excel is in getting information for people.  The world of charity is no exception.  There are many charity resources out there that can be used to help donors understand better the organizations receiving donations and how those donations are used.  A brief list of such resources would include - Charity Navigator, Guidestar, Charity Watch and (BBB Wise Giving Alliance).  This is by no means a comprehensive list, and the organizations that we have listed tend to cover the larger charities more thoroughly than smaller, regional charities.  
  2. One of the best ways to learn about new giving opportunities is to listen to family and friends.  The people you love share similar interests with you.  Listen to them and learning about those organizations they give to provides a type of filter that offers a great potential that you will be involved with the kind of outreach that matches your interest and accomplishes your goals.  Certainly, it is not absolutely error proof, and we would encourage research into any organization donated to through this method, but it is a good starting point to expand the giving boundaries. 
  3. Research partnering organization that works with charities that you already support.  In most instances if an organization is working with a charity you are supporting, that organization will be involved in areas that you will have interest.  Sometimes these can be hard to discover since charities are often stingy with such information, but following newsletters, blogs or other publication created by your favorite charities should reveal some actionable intel on new charities in which to get involved.

Our staff at eMite is involved in this processes on a daily basis.  We will get into more of our process in later entries but know that the research and development of a giving opportunity is a vital role in making an impactful giving decision.  Do not short change this part of the process.